Jay and I were honored at Casa Colina's "Tribute to Courage" in late February (as we referenced in "Our Big Night"). This honor is bestowed on a former patient of Casa Colina's neuro-rehabilitation program whose recovery exemplifies all that Casa Colina hopes for its patients. During the nearly year and a half we spent at Casa Colina, it became a kind of family for us. It was a home. We grew to deeply love Casa and all the people there.
As life has a way of doing, those precious people and that place are now distant memories. Seeing those faces again and remembering that time was hard but so rich. I was very blessed to have gone there and to have received this award that night. Almost four years later, we are so grateful to be at a place in our lives where we can be honored for how far I have come--what a meaningful milestone.
I hope you had a chance to watch the CBS news story (here if not) from that night. Here is another news story about that night. I like here that you can see more of the beautiful venue and catch a glimpse of the grandeur of this event.
Before the event even started, I was able to spend some time in a side room visiting with some special friends (I tried desperately to preserve my voice as we would be speaking later). I even got to see some of my original therapists from Casa Colina who were in shock (crying here) as I showed them my new walking skills without a cane. Awon and Esther are so wonderful! I would not be where I am in recovery today were it not for them (and Becky, Christine, Annie, Char, Rachel and many more!).
I was so surprised that over 850 people were in attendance that night. Among them, we were so grateful to be joined by over 40 friends and family, including a full table of friends from Pomona First Baptist (our church home while I was in Casa Colina). Of course, one of the most special people to have there was Dr. Gonzalez (see last pic). I can definitely say, I wouldn't have been there, if it was not for him. In fact, several doctors and even the CEO of UCLA Medical Systems, Dr. David Feinberg, (check out the fabulous book I wrote about here) were in attendance to support us.
More later -- Part 2 coming soon...